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February 16, 2023

Ms. Bonnie Wang from Durham Academy, Lini Polin’s students from CHIN 441, and Durham Academy students pose with a dragon during the Lunar New Year celebration at the Kidzu Children’s Museum. Photo credit to Ms. Bonnie Wang.

Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! Speaking of the Lunar New Year, I recently interviewed Teaching Professor Lini Polin, whose CHIN 441 class participated in a local celebratory event for the new year at the Kidzu Children’s Museum. Please enjoy the Q&A below!

Can you tell me more about your class’s role in the event, and the event itself?

The event at the Kidzu Children’s Museum was mainly organized by Ms. Bonnie Wang, Upper School Chinese teacher from Durham Academy, but three students from my CHIN 441 class went to help with interpreting during the Mandarin storytime about the Lunar New Year, and held the dragon with Ms. Wang’s students during a dragon dance demonstration.

What were you hoping your class would learn by participating in this event?

Supported by the UNC APPLES Service-learning Course Development Grant, this course provides students with a community-based learning experience that extends beyond the classroom. Using the bilingual skills and the translation/interpretation techniques learned in this course, each student will serve a minimum of 30 hours with a community partner during the semester.

I hope that the students would integrate academic content with the service experience and demonstrate the application of new knowledge/skills through their service in the community.

Had your students previously learned skills in your 441 class that they were able to apply during the event?

Since the spring semester only started a few weeks ago, students in the CHIN 441 class are currently learning fundamental concepts of translation and being engaged in class discussions regarding sentence-level translation. As the semester moves along, they will learn and practice more advanced translation and interpreting skills.

Who were your event collaborators?

For the service-learning component of the course, we are collaborating with Kidzu and the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill. Those students who do service-learning at Kidzu will also collaborate with Ms. Wang and her students from Durham Academy.

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